Water Blend Foundation Showdown: Comparing Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude to the Rest of the Market

Recently, my local exchange had Estee Lauder’s latest addition to their extensive Double Wear foundation line on sale … a crazy sale, so good it seemed too good to be true (it was, sort of; it was a misprint I hear, but they honored it). It’s a new water blend foundation: the ridiculously long named Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup SPF 30. I had been wanting to try it after the rave reviews I had been seeing, and the price meant I couldn’t say no (I tried, lovely husband, I really did … I waited until the last day of the sale to pick it up. Almost made it).

Note: some links are affiliate links, which means I could earn a small commission if you purchase through them … but you will not pay anything extra.

It’s an interesting market, water blend foundations … and an interesting addition to the Double Wear stable, as the OG Double Wear is known for it’s matte finish, full coverage, last all day through Okinawan heat and humidity-ness. While this foundation is super popular, I personally do not like OG Double Wear at all; it looks like thick, chalky cake face at it’s worst on me. Not cute. But water blend foundations are a different animal entirely. Literally formulated with more water than anything, they offer a light, totally skin like finish … they aren’t going to hide cystic acne or raccoon eyes after an all-nighter, but they will even out your skin tone, balance redness, and make you look like you. But better. That’s the claim anyway, I think you look amazing without it (do I sound like your mom?).

The OG to this market is the cult classic MAC Face and Body. With 13 shades (and a white mixer shade available in the large size to pros), it is also the most economical choice at $29 for 50 ml or a honkin’ 120 ml bottle for $38. The coverage is extremely light, but it is also very buildable, with some people using several layers when they are looking for a more medium plus level of coverage. The shade range is a little bit of a bummer if you are fair or deep in complexion as you will likely be excluded from the Face and Body party (without mixing in something else anyway).

Make Up For Ever used to sell a foundation also called (not-so-creatively) Face and Body, but recently replaced it with Water Blend. This new foundation has been blasted by a few well-known You Tubers recently for being … well … not much more than water (the company markets it as a waterproof formula that is made of 80% water). $43 will get you 50 ml, and it comes in 20 shades (MUFE has long been very inclusive for all skin tones). I personally LOVE this foundation (I don’t like makeup-ey looking skin too much for myself), but yes, it is very, very sheer. I call it my “why bother” foundation.

water blend
Make Up For Ever Water Blend, or my affectionately-dubbed “why bother” foundation

Even more sheer than MAC Face and Body, it feels nearly undetectable on the skin, looks undetectable, and just evens out redness for me very well. It’s buildable too, if you have areas that have a little more pigmentation you would like to not hang out. I get a lot more coverage using it over my Shiseido Ibuki holy grail primer, so if you want a little more oomph, that’s a good option. Buyer beware though … this is a true watery foundation, and it will not play nice with super siliconey primers like NYX Angel Veil, Smashbox, etc. AT ALL. Don’t do it.

So enter Estee Lauder’s new kid on the block, the Nude Water Fresh blah-blah-blah (I hope you read that in Adam Sandler’s Dracula voice like I said it in my head when I typed it).

What this foundation has in common with its water blend sisters: it’s practically undetectable on the skin, and feels very lightweight. What it doesn’t share: it offers significantly more coverage than MAC and MUFE. All three, for me, have a demi matte, also very skin-like finish to them (not too dewy, not too matte … juuuuuuuust right). It comes in just 12 shades, but the top and bottom end of the spectrum go a good bit farther than MAC’s Face and Body do (and the upside to a very sheer formulation means you can get away with less of an exact color match … though Estee Lauder in my opinion could do a lot better). $42 will get you 30 ml (that’s the standard size for a foundation, but here in water blend land, this one is by far the most expensive per ml of the bunch). It also comes in Estee Lauder’s stupid, cheap-ass (but pretty) frosted glass bottle without a pump. Gross. Seriously, at this price point (at any really, can we be hygienic here, people), this shit should have a pump.

So, which do I like best? Hmmmm. Well, I’m cheap, so if I could wear MAC Face and Body that might be my choice … but they don’t go light enough for me so pfbbbbb to you, MAC. Out of MUFE and EL … I think more people will like the EL foundation. It really is fantastic, and offers a lot of coverage without looking or feeling like makeup. If you have an event, I definitely would go with this over the MUFE one. But … I might be in the minority, but I really love the Make Up For Ever Water Blend. It perfectly matches my skintone (my actual skintone, MUFE is very good at looking at real undertones that people have … with most lines, I have to just buy the lightest and hope for the best … this was not the lightest in the range even, and I had a couple different (realistic) undertones to pick from, not just pepto bismol mixed with white out or mustard mixed with white out options).

I hope this was helpful and you can narrow down the field to a water blend foundation that will work well for you and your skin type and tone. If you’ve tried any foundations from this segment, what did you think?

Stress and Acne: Can Stress Cause, Trigger or Worsen It?

Stresssssssssssssss. Some lifestyles are more susceptible to stress, as are some personalities. My personality is very prone to stress. My type-A tendencies, among other things, make me stress over shit that probably doesn’t need stressing over.

Why is stress such an issue? For many, it lights a fire under us (hello, fellow procrastinators) so it can’t be all negative. But, what stress does to your body can be quite damaging. Not counting all of the other stuff it does internally, my skin breaks out like nobody’s business when I’m under a lot of stress. Like, a pepperoni pizza just transplanted onto my chin-type acne.

Which is actually an indicator of what’s going on inside … where you get breakouts (if you do) can give you some ideas on the cause. If you get chin disasters like I do, pay attention to when you get them. If you are prone to acne only around your period, you likely get spots on your chin. If you are breaking out with seemingly nothing to do with your monthly menstrual cycle, and it’s also on your chin, it could be triggered by stress.

These breakouts can be viewed as your body’s way of telling you that you need to make some changes … but I’m not a lifestyle guru (or any kind of guru for that matter), so you do you on that front. What I might be able to help you with is dealing with them. Continue reading “Stress and Acne: Can Stress Cause, Trigger or Worsen It?”

NSale: Anastasia Brow Gel, or, OMG How Did I Miss This?

Dude, I swear this wasn’t in the pre-sale for cardholders but the Nordstrom Nsale (anniversary sale) has a ridiculous deal right now on the clear Anastasia brow gel. Get two tubes for $29 (and free shipping! And free return shipping if you hate it!).


For serious, dude … first, this brow gel is the most amazing thing ever … it will keep your brows in check all day, no matter how much sweating or whatever that you do. My brows sway a bit on the curly side and even they are locked down. This brow gel also makes your brows appear a bit fuller (I swear, it does!) BUT it’s totally clear, so it looks totally natural and it works for every brow color.

I used to have a ghetto old tube of clear Maybelline Great Lash mascara I would use on an odd occasion on my brows. I always wondered what the fuss was with brow gel because the Great Lash was massively underwhelming. I got a sample tube of Anastasia clear brow gel a while back from Sephora in a brow set and now I can’t live without it. (Well played, Sephora).

Anyway, back to the Nsale … this miraculous tube of brow-wow normally costs $22 (it lasts for-ev-er though, I promise) … or around $20 if you shop at the Okinawa exchanges. BUT Nordstrom has a two pack of it (like a 2-year supply, yo) for $29.

If you decide to pick it up, it would be rad if you used my little affiliate link here. Support my tiny blog! Feed my kids! Thank you!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel Duo – No Color

Did you shop the anniversary sale? If so, what did you buy? Comment below!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: the best of the Beauty sale

It’s here, it’s here! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! I grew up in Alaska, and in Anchorage, Nordstrom is the only higher end department store in town. And the state. When it was Nordstrom sale time, people were waiting outside the doors before they opened … and the anniversary sale, their best sale of the year, was insane. Like Black Friday, except (usually) nobody was wearing pajamas. So for me, getting excited over this sale is ingrained. I can’t help it …

You can do early access right now if you’re a Nordstrom card holder; everyone can see what’s on sale, but if you’re like me and don’t have a Nordstrom card, you have to wait until July 21 to order.

There are a few intriguing items in the beauty department this year. Nordstrom often gets in special bundle deals and limited editions for their sales. If you want to see my top picks from the beauty exclusives, keep reading!

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Continue reading “Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: the best of the Beauty sale”

NARS Concealer Showdown: Soft Matte Complete vs. Radiant Creamy

If you have watched even one YouTube makeup guru’s video, you have likely seen NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in action. This concealer is insanely popular, particularly amongst the highlight-and-contour set. Why? For many, it offers full coverage for even the darkest under eye circles, and doesn’t crease when you set it with powder. It also comes in 16 shades, meaning pretty much everyone can find a match. This year though, this NARS concealer met some competition from the same company in the form of NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer. Want to see how they compare? Keep reading!¬† Continue reading “NARS Concealer Showdown: Soft Matte Complete vs. Radiant Creamy”